WSU acquires new radio station for Wildcat sports

Arky, Carl
(Source: Paul Grua)
Carl Arky gets ready to announce a Weber State University football game. The broadcasts for WSU will now be found on KLO AM/FM.

The words “Touchdown Wildcats!” will now be heard on a different station on the dial. Weber State University has signed a deal for a multi-year partnership with KLO AM/FM radio to broadcast all WSU football and men’s basketball games. The games will be heard on 1430 AM and 103.1 FM.

The broadcasts had been on 1280 AM, The Zone, for just a short while before the Larry H. Miller Communications Corporation bought the station.

“We were with 1280 for two years, and we initially got into that partnership just before the Jazz purchased 1280,” said Jerry Bovee, director of intercollegiate athletics at WSU. “When we first entered the partnership, it was a perfect match for us. We thought we’d get a lot of content on a sports radio station. The Jazz purchased them and it caused some scheduling issues for us that we just couldn’t overcome.”

WSU had been with KLO before the switch to 1280 for many years. KLO was founded in Ogden and had its first broadcast in 1924. The station has since grown to cover the majority of the Wasatch Front.

“We have a long relationship with Weber State in their athletics,” said Matt Webb, general sales manager for KLO. “Obviously (the switch) solidifies and ties in our relationship in the community and the presence that we’ve always had up in Weber County it kind of reaffirms that. That’s the main reason that we’re able to put partnerships around Weber State as well with existing clients.”

Last season, when Jazz games were broadcast, WSU games were sublet to other stations, sometimes making it difficult to find which station the broadcast was on for any given week.

“You have got to be on a consistent channel; you have to have a consistent home for your fan base to find you,” Bovee said. “We worked with the Jazz to try to compromise. They have two stations, (so) they found us a place to be. But ultimately we wanted to be on 1280 as much as we could be. So we were popping around every game based on when the Jazz were on or what else they had. Our partnership with them was good, our relationship with the Jazz was good, but ultimately we had to find some stability in where we are so our fanbase can find us.”

With the switch, broadcasts will now be found on both an AM and an FM station.

“Our biggest asset to Weber was that we can carry all of the games on not only KLO 1430 AM, but on 103.1 FM, because everything is simulcast,” Webb said. “So, not only would they easily be heard in Weber County, but also they will be heard in Tooele County, Utah County, Salt Lake County, Davis County, Box Elder County. So, obviously, it was a pretty easy pitch.”

Both sides are happy to have come to an multiple-year agreement.

“(KLO) has always supportive, so for us it’s a little bit like going back home,” Bovee said. “They now have an FM and an AM channel; we will be able to simulcast on both of those frequencies and have more reach than we had before when we were with KLO. We’re excited about the fit. We know the players, we’ve been partnered before, and we’re looking for a long-lasting relationship with folks that we’ve worked with for many years.”

Carl Arky, longtime color commentator  for WSU sports broadcasts, will also continue his partnership with WSU. Arky has spent 15 years as the voice of the Wildcats.

“As a broadcaster, I can say that I’m very happy to be back with KLO,” Arky said. “I think it’s great for our fans and I’m looking forward to working with them again. What I’m pleased about is that I think it gives us a real home for our broadcast and it’s a station that people can find easily on the dial, and it has a strong signal, so they will be able to hear the games loud and clear. That’s always been a great concern of mine, and I think we will be able to both of those things.”